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Choosing A Door For Your Cat

A pet door is a convenient way to allow your cat the liberty to come and go as they please, making sure you don’t spend all your time playing doorman. 

Providing them with a cat flap will give them access to the great outdoors for toilet trips, exercise, and mental stimulation, all of which are necessary for a happy, healthy feline friend. When your cat passes through the flap, it will be sufficient to scent-mark it, and if your cat is neutered, that should keep neighbouring cats out for the most part.

There are a few factors involved in choosing the best cat door for you. A cat door's size, thickness, locking mechanism and placement should be considered along with your cat's size. Your pet must be able to easily enter and exit the door.


The Types Of Doors Available 


With a variety of options, your pet door needs are sure to be met. There are flexible and hard flap models, and there are also automatic types that open when the pet approaches. A popular and effective style is the flexible flap door, as it tends to be the better choice for most breeds of pets. However, the hard flap doors, which consist of an interior and exterior frame assembly, can be beneficial in many cases and could be the one to meet your needs. 

Soft Flap Doors

These doors consist of a solid frame with a flexible and soft flap that is tinted and adjustable. These doors are a great basic option and your cat will have constant access through this door.

2 Way Manual Doors 
This door has a rigid flap and swings open both ways, allowing your cat to come and go as they please. You can lock the flap to prevent entry or exit from your house. 

4 Way Manual Door

This one operates the same as the two way door but has more locking options. It can be set to open, closed, exit only, or entrance only, and having the different access options is a huge benefit.  The exit only and entrance only options are very useful for the daytime and particularly the nighttime, when you’d like your cat to be able to come inside, but then stay inside for the night (this tends to keep them out of trouble).

4 Way Magnetic Doors

 

The same as the four way manual, but with the added safety feature of a collar with a magnetic tag which your cat must wear to allow use of the cat flap. Main benefits here are the different access options plus the lack of access to stray animals and cats.  Technically, the magnetic collar is not unique to your cat, and if a neighbour’s cat has the same collar, it would allow them access too. This is unlikely though, and in the absence of a microchip in your cat, this is the best option to only allow selected cats access to the pet door.

4 Way Microchip

This is the premium cat door option and has the same 4 way locking options as the regular four way locking doors, but with the added benefit that it reads your cat’s microchip or infrared sensor on the collar. As your cat’s microchip is unique, they will be the only one who can get in and out. 


Where To Install The Cat Door 


You will need to decide which door, window, or wall you want to install the cat door into, taking safety concerns into consideration and the type of door you want, as some are only suitable for certain materials.

Into A Glass Door or Window 

The installation of a cat door in your window can be quick and easy, and is a good choice if you don’t want to obstruct a doorway. Many of the models that fit a glass window can also be installed into a glass sliding door. Keep in mind that installation into glass can only be done into single-glazed glass (ie. regular glass). It is not possible to install into double-glazed glass after the fact (the necessary hole for such needs to be made at manufacturing time for double-glazed glass).

Into A Wooden Door 

This pet door, meant to be installed in a home’s exterior door, has a frame of plastic and a hard flap that your kitty will pass through.

Into PVC/uPVC Doors 

You can fit a cat flap into solid uPVC doors fairly easily, since you can simply cut a hole in the door. Always remember to check that your flap is large enough for your cat, and ensure the height is appropriate so that the cat does not have to jump up to enter through the door.

Into A Metal Door 

Fitting cat flaps into aluminum and metal skinned doors requires specialist tools, as modern, high-security doors aren't designed to have holes cut in them so fitting cat flaps into composite doors can be a challenge! 

Into A Brick Wall 

If you need your pet door to lead into a utility room, kitchen or laundry room, , a door can be installed unobtrusively leading exactly where you need it to go. This process involves cutting a hole in a wall and installing a pet door frame, flap and sometimes a tunnel for deeper walls. Please do not attempt this yourself unless you have the right tools and some wall-cutting skills, as this is a project best taken on by a carpenter or a trusted handyman.


The last thing you need to consider is your cat’s size. Most cats will fit into a regular cat door, but if your cat is a larger breed, please be sure to get the width of their widest body part. This is typically the chest, and will need to be measured as accurately as you can. Be sure their belly is not wider than their chest when you measure. If it is, rather use their belly measurement, as you will need to get a door that they will fit into with ease.


If you have any questions about cat doors, we stock a variety and you can purchase through our website or visit one of our stores and chat to our knowledgeable staff.


While we do recommend using a professional handyman, if you’re the handy one, there  are some helpful tutorials on the PetSafe YouTube Channel.



  • August 09, 2022
  • Kelly Muller
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